‘Will withhold accounts, but disagree with actions’: X on Modi govt blocking orders

The social media company’s remarks come days after many handles were blocked amid the farmers’ protest.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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With many social media handles blocked amid the farmers’ protest, social media platform X has pointed to the Indian government’s orders to “act on specific accounts and posts”.

“In compliance with the orders, we will withhold these accounts and posts in India alone; however, we disagree with these actions and maintain that freedom of expression should extend to these posts,” wrote the social media company’s Global Government Affairs account.

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However, the company noted that “consistent with our position, a writ appeal challenging the Indian government's blocking orders remains pending”. “We have also provided the impacted users with notice of these actions in accordance with our policies. Due to legal restrictions, we are unable to publish the executive orders, but we believe that making them public is essential for transparency. This lack of disclosure can lead to a lack of accountability and arbitrary decision-making.”

The orders on February 19 were issued against 35 Facebook links, 35 Facebook accounts, 14 Instagram accounts, 42 X accounts, 49 X links, one Snapchat account, and one Reddit account. Representatives from Meta, X and Snapchat attended a meeting this week with the section 69A blocking committee. 

Under section 69A of the Information Technology Act, the government can block access to information that poses threat to sovereignty, security and integrity of India, spoils friendly relations with other countries or public order, among others.

The protesting farmers have multiple demands, including an MSP law. Trying to head to Delhi, they’ve been camped along Shambhu border, amidst heavy police deployment, for the past week even as their fourth round of talks with the central government were held on Sunday.

Newslaundry has been at ground zero since their agitation began. Watch this video on their demands, the police action, and the approach taken by the centre.

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